Our people

Steering committee

Associate Professor Foula Kopanidis

School of Economics, Finance and Marketing

Foula’s research interests include consumption and choice behaviour, selection criteria, ageing, well-being and quality of life.

Foula’s research is anchored across the three disciplines of marketing, education and psychology and her methodology is primarily quantitative. Foula’s research interests include consumption and choice behaviour, selection criteria, ageing, well-being and quality of life. Foula has been involved in a number of projects in the wellbeing field, the latest being with the Longevity Group Australia. She has published in Education + Training, Higher Education, Research and Development, Higher Education Policy and Management and Women & Aging and has co-authored text books in Consumer Behaviour and Marketing. Prior to her eleven years in academia, Foula worked as a market researcher and consultant.

More information on Foula’s research can be found under “Publications” or on this profile page.

Professor Mike Reid

School of Economics, Finance and Marketing

Mike’s research interests encompass consumer lifestyles and wellbeing, healthy middle aging, men’s health and wellbeing, and food literacy and healthy eating.

Mike holds a PhD from the University of Otago, New Zealand. Mike has industry and academic experience in qualitative and quantitative lifestyles research. Mike has held several competitive grants including, ARC Discovery, Sustainability CRC, VicHealth Innovation, VicHealth Partnership, Ecstra Foundation, and a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grant. Mike’s research interests encompass consumer lifestyles and their influence on consumption and wellbeing, healthy middle aging, men’s health and wellbeing, and food literacy and healthy eating. His research has been published in quality peer reviewed journals including, Journal of Social Marketing, Journal of Medical Internet Research, Australia and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, Appetite, European Journal of Marketing, Information and Management, Research-Technology Management , Psychology and Marketing, Journal of Advertising, Journal of Advertising Research, Journal of Marketing Management, Journal of Women & Aging, amongst others.

More information on Mike’s research can be found under “Publications” or on this profile page.

Professor Kate Westberg

School of Economics, Finance and Marketing

Kate’s interests include health and wellbeing-related consumption behaviours and influences particularly in relation to ageing, food wellbeing and sport.

Kate is a qualitative researcher interested in exploring health and wellbeing-related consumption behaviours and influences. Her recent projects have explored ageing and wellbeing, alcohol consumption and alcohol marketing in sport, and food choices and healthy eating in community sport. Kate has collaborated with research partners such as the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, SBS, and VicHealth. Her research has been widely published in marketing and health-related international journals, and Kate is also committed to the broader translation of her research to community stakeholders.

More information on Kate’s research can be found under “Publications” or on this profile page.

Members

Dr Torgeir Aleti

School of Economics, Finance and Marketing

Torgeir researches social and relational aspects of consumption choices and behaviour, grounded in social learning theory.

Torgeir has published several books and articles; mainly related to consumer socialisation and social learning processes. His work on how family members learn consumer skills from each other has won two Emerald outstanding paper awards. Rooted in social learning theory, Torgeir researches social and relational aspects of consumption choices and behaviour. He has consulted with non-for-profit community health organisations concerning peer-learning among young adults as well as consumer learning within families. Torgeir has co-authored books and journal papers on sustainable consumption, behaviour change, and family decision-making. Torgeir applies a wide range of methods to his research including large-scale consumer surveys, interviews, netnography and experiments.

More information on Torgeir’s research can be found under “Publications” or on this profile page.

Professor Linda Brennan

School of Media and Communications, RMIT

Linda’s research interests relate to social and government marketing and especially the influence of marketing communications and advertising on behaviour.

Linda Brennan is the Inaugural Professor of Advertising at RMIT University. Prior to becoming a full time academic Linda had an active consulting practice in marketing and strategic research, working with a variety of markets, projects and industries. She has expertise in both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Linda’s research interests are social and government marketing and especially the influence of marketing communications and advertising on behaviour, particularly among older people and within linguistically and culturally diverse contexts. She has published widely in the area of social marketing, with a focus on communication and public health and has worked with organisations such as the Royal Life Saving Society, Environment Victoria, the Asian Development Bank and UNICEF.

More information on Linda’s research can be found under “Publications” or on this profile page.

Associate Professor Angela Dobele

School of Economics, Finance and Marketing

Angela's current research projects include men's mental wellbeing and the relationship between craft work, in particular sewing, with wellbeing and referrals. 

Angela's current research projects include men's mental wellbeing and the relationship between craft work, in particular sewing, wellbeing and referrals.  Angela has two main research interests, first word of mouth referrals and viral marketing, and secondly, academic industry.  Her thesis topic and subsequent research consider word-of-mouth and viral referrals (at the intersection of relationship marketing and corporate communication).  Her second research focus supports her leadership positions within the School, College and University and is grounded in staff and student learning, performance and progression.  Angela's previous research includes student decision making, motivation and support, deeper understanding of academic workloads and internal promotion, and online community engagement, branding and behaviours.  Her industry collaborative partners include the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, Remote Control (Music) and the Cerebral Palsy Education Centre.

More information on Angela’s research can be found under “Publications” or on this profile page.

Professor Lisa Farrell

School of Economics, Finance and Marketing

Lisa’s research interests lie in the area of health economics, specifically in consumer expenditure in relation to risky health behaviours and behavioural economics. 

Lisa’s research interests lie in the area of Health Economics: specifically in consumer expenditure in relation to risky health behaviours (gambling, smoking and drinking) and behavioural economics (understanding and modelling addiction and the effects of psychology/ personality on economic decisions). She also has a track record in the field of child health and economic welfare issues such as: childhood consumption and the impact of welfare systems on incentives for young adults to drop out of school. Understanding health behaviours is essential to sound economic management within the Business of Health. Lisa’s research operates in the space between health scientists and policy makers; understanding how scientific knowledge can best be used for evidence based health policy to actively change behaviour and improve wellbeing. Lisa has published extensively in International A* and A ranked journals which include the American Economic Review (the most prestigious journal in her discipline). Her external engagement includes being an Editorial Board Member for the Journal of Gambling Business.

More information on Lisa’s research can be found under “Publications”  or on this profile page.

Portræt for SDU Sept/okto. 2013

Dr Bernardo Figueiredo

School of Economics, Finance and Marketing

Bernardo’s research focus is on gaining novel insights into how people behave and relate in globalising marketplaces, and to use these insights to help transform the world.

Bernardo’s research focus is on developing and applying powerful ethnographic and collaborative methodologies to gain novel insights into how people behave and relate in globalising marketplaces, and to use these insights to help transform the world. How do consumers interact with their environment and with each other to cocreate value for themselves and society? And how does the environment enable or disable these processes? His research includes value cocreation, collaborative networks and communities, consumer relationship with technology, consumer mobility, and social isolation and connectedness. Bernardo has recently received grants or funding from various organisations including the Marketing Science Institute, ACR/Sheth, the University of the Third Age, and Life Activities Victoria. His research has been published in top academic outlets including the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Business Research, and European Journal of Marketing.

More information on Bernardo’s research can be found under “Publications” or on this profile page.

Dr Sandy Fitzgerald (née Ng)

School of Economics, Finance and Marketing

Sandy’s interests include health and wellbeing issues that arise from over-interacting with digital technologies.

Sandy is a multi-disciplinary, mixed-methods researcher whose interests include health and wellbeing issues that arise from over-interacting with digital technologies (e.g., mobile apps, online gaming) such as co-created obsession and individuals being overstimulated in the online environment; the evaluation and design of system characteristics of technologies, consumer volitions towards sun protection practices and the investigation transformative service research topics such as employee resilience and the making of transformative service organisations. Sandy conducts applied research and collaborates with industry partners to solve real-world problems. She has collaborated with Cancer Council Victoria and Ovarian Cancer Australia. Sandy has a passion in sharing her knowledge with students. She has successfully mentored her students to complete industry projects that ultimately benefit community wellbeing.

More information on Sandy’s research can be found under “Publications” or on this profile page.

Dr Lauren Gurrieri

School of Economics, Finance and Marketing

Lauren’s research examines gender, consumption and the marketplace, with a focus on gender-based inequalities in consumer and digital cultures. 

Lauren is a Senior Lecturer in Marketing at RMIT University. Her research examines gender, consumption and the marketplace, with a focus on gender-based inequalities in consumer and digital cultures. She has undertaken research across various social change topics, including obesity, alcohol consumption and gambling. She is particularly interested in the gendered implications and dynamics related to social marketing and her research adopts a critical and reflexive lens. She is currently a chief investigator on an ARC Discovery grant examining how young adults use, communicate about and experience mobile phone sports betting applications. Lauren is a Board Member of the Consumer Culture Theory Consortium, an Advisory Board Member for GENMAC (Gender, Marketing and Consumer Behavior) and is an Associate Editor at the Journal of Marketing Management. Her scholarship has been published in a range of leading academic journals and she is a regular contributor to the Australian media.

More information on Lauren’s research can be found under “Publications” or on this profile page.

Dr Jozica Kutin

School of Economics, Finance & Marketing

Jozica’s research has focused on financial capabilities, financial wellbeing and the evaluation of financial education programs.

Jozica completed her PhD in the School of Economics, Finance & Marketing, RMIT University and holds a master’s degree in forensic psychology from Monash University. With her background in forensic psychology, Jozica has worked in diverse research areas such as asthma epidemiology, prisons, and adult and youth drug and alcohol services. Since 2013, at RMIT, her research has focused on financial capabilities, financial wellbeing and the evaluation of financial education programs. Her PhD research investigated the prevalence and lived experience of economic abuse in young adult relationships using both quantitative and qualitative research methods for which she was awarded the RMIT HDR Prize for Research Impact in 2018. With funding from the Ecstra Foundation, Jozica is translating her PhD research, in partnership with YLab and Today Design, into an online toolkit for young adults. Jozica is particularly interested in relationship-based financial wellbeing and using social marketing strategies to prevent economic abuse. Jozica’s recent publications appear in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, the Journal of Social Marketing and Children and Youth Services Review.

Dr Lukas Parker

School of Media and Communication, RMIT University

Lukas has undertaken social marketing research in the fields of sexual health, road safety, alcohol consumption cultures and environmental behaviour.

Lukas is a senior lecturer in the School of Media and Communication. He has undertaken social marketing research in the fields of sexual health, road safety, alcohol consumption cultures and environmental behaviour. He has over a decade’s experience in social marketing research and practice in Vietnam. Lukas has collaborated with AIP Foundation, Institute of Public Health (Vietnam) and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. He has been published in Injury Prevention, Journal of Social Marketing and Young Consumers. His current research focus is on social marketing and alcohol consumption cultures, road safety and social marketing to older males.

More information on Lukas’ research can be found under “Publications” or on this profile page.

Dr Linda Robinson

School of Economics, Finance and Marketing

Linda’s current research focuses on the wellbeing of service employees, the consumption choices of ageing and low-resourced consumers, and consumer obsessions. 

Linda’s research interests lie at the intersection of marketing, management and psychology, where she has a special interest in services and social marketing. Her current research focuses on the wellbeing of service employees, the consumption choices of ageing and low-resourced consumers, and the practices influencing consumer obsessions. Linda is skilled in both qualitative and quantitative research methods and has experience managing large multi-method research projects in conjunction with industry partners. Her research has attracted media attention, appearing in publications such as Marketing magazine and BOSS Magazine (AFR).

More information on Linda’s research can be found under “Publications” or on this profile page.

Professor Roslyn Russell

School of Economics, Finance and Marketing

Roslyn’s research has a strong focus on financial education and interventions that promote the wellbeing of lower income consumers and financially vulnerable people.

Roslyn holds a research only academic position in the School of Economics, Finance and Marketing and has been researching financial wellbeing in Australia for more than fifteen years. Roslyn’s research has a strong focus on financial education and interventions that promote the wellbeing of lower income consumers and financially vulnerable people. Roslyn has received several ARC grants with the most recent Discovery grant exploring the financial wellbeing of women in Australia. Other research focuses on payday lending in Australia; financial wellbeing of older people, people with disability and autistic individuals. Most of Roslyn’s research is for industry including finance, government and community sectors. She is currently serving on the Australian Government Financial Literacy Board.

More information on Roslyn’s research can be found under “Publications” or on this profile page.

Associate Professor Ashton de Silva

School of Economics, Finance and Marketing

Ashton has a wide range of research interests which include wellbeing, housing, creativity and general policy analysis.

Ashton has a wide range of research interests which include wellbeing, housing, creativity and general policy analysis. In recent years he has forged strong links with industry including a study focussing on understanding the concept of financial wellbeing with colleagues at the Brotherhood of St Laurence. In addition he has also successfully led projects for key government agencies including the Australian Tax Office. Ashton’s skills include applied quantitative techniques as well advanced econometric modelling. Ashton is regularly sought for his expertise in these areas by his peers and mainstream media.

More information on Ashton’s research can be found under “Publications” or on his profile page.

Associate Professor Constantino (Con) Stavros

School of Economics, Finance and Marketing

Con has an enduring interest in the critical role sport can play both directly and indirectly in consumer well-being

Con is one of Australia’s leading commentators on marketing matters and was an inaugural inductee into the RMIT Media Hall of Fame in 2017. The Editor-in-Chief of Sport, Business & Management: An International Journal, he has an enduring interest in the critical role sport can play both directly and indirectly in consumer well-being. Con has a long relationship with the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, having served on its Community Alcohol Action Network advisory committee and he has also completed projects with the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education and the Australian Red Cross. Favouring qualitative methodologies, he has published in a wide range of journals, including the Journal of Social Marketing, Journal of Sport Management, Drug & Alcohol Review and the International Review for the Sociology of Sport.

More information on Con’s research can be found under “Publications” or on this profile page.

Higher Degree by Research Students

Bronwyn Bruce

PhD candidate Bronwyn Bruce is investigating how investment strategies can be used by millennial women to narrow the superannuation gap when they reach retirement. Currently at 37%, the superannuation gap exists predominantly due to the way hegemonic time is used to organise the individual toward maximum productivity. This puts women at a disadvantage to men as they often take time out of the workforce due to childbearing and caring responsibilities. Bronwyn’s research proposes to explore how Bandura’s sources of self-efficacy (1997) influence women’s preparedness to undertake aggressive investment within their superannuation before the age of 40. Investing in higher-return growth assets like stocks is most effective if undertaken before a woman is in her mid-50s when she has time on her side to ride out any stock market corrections or crashes long before retirement. However, millennial women have lower levels of financial literacy and are less willing to undertake investment risk, which puts them at a disadvantage when it comes to making decisions about optimal asset allocation within superannuation. By addressing the consumption behaviours of millennial women towards their superannuation when they are younger, it may enhance their quality of life and financial wellbeing when they are older.

Sanjeewa Prad Wijayaratne

The rise of obesity has focussed attention towards obesogenic environments, in particular the home environment, which is an important setting for the development of dietary patterns and eating preferences. In this environment, the dietary gatekeeper is the person primarily responsible for food shopping and preparation and therefore determines the food that will be consumed by the family in the home.

Food literacy is an emerging concept used to describe the everyday practicalities associated with healthy food intake. However, in the extant literature, there is a lack of research assessing food literacy and the role of the dietary gatekeeper’s food literacy in the household domain.

Using a mixed-method approach, my research adopts a public health and social marketing perspective, to investigate how the dietary gatekeeper’s food literacy influences healthy food consumption in the home environment. The research involves three stages. First, a quantitative analysis of an existing data set of 756 Australian dietary gatekeepers has been undertaken to establish a valid measure of food literacy and determine how food literacy impacts healthy dietary behaviour and dietary barriers.

Then using the quantitative findings as a guide, the second stage will explore food literacy further in a qualitative study of dietary gatekeepers to provide greater understanding on the different aspects of food literacy used by gatekeepers to overcome dietary barriers in the home environment.

In the final stage, using the insights gained from the qualitative study a food literacy questionnaire will be developed to measure how food literacy capabilities are transferred in the home environment. To date there has been a lack of instruments in the literature that measure the transmission of food literacy skills and knowledge within the family.

Nhat Tram Phan-Le

Mindfulness has recently drawn the attention from scholars in the field of sustainable consumption with four potential mechanisms: to disrupt the routines, to narrow the intention-behaviour gap, to nurture non-materialistic values, and to enhance well-being. However, the impact of mindfulness on broader social and world view levels of sustainable consumption is currently under-researched. The purpose of this research project is to explore the influence of mindfulness on sustainable consumption at three levels: individual, social, and world view. Specifically, the research studies the impact of yoga on food waste behaviour in Vietnam and Australia.

The research is mixed-method research with three stages. The first stage is a series of systematic reviews to identify the definition and measurement of mindfulness and to develop an ecological conceptual framework that illustrates the influence of mindfulness on sustainable consumption. The second stage is qualitative research comprises of in-depth interviews and observation to gain insights to refine the ecological framework. The final stage is quantitative research to examine the relationship between the mechanisms in the ecological framework.

Recent Graduates

Dr Rachel Peile

This research examines the importance of family identity when a family is living with a child with a chronic illness. Family identity is important because it reflects how the family functions and operates in relation to its environment to shape the choices families make, their behaviours and how outcomes are negotiated. Family identity is constantly changing and is impacted by all family members.

This topic is investigated through the lens of social marketing and integrates significant research in marketing, paediatrics, public health, family functioning and psychology. Social marketing seeks to develop and integrate marketing concepts with other approaches to influence behaviours to benefit individuals and the community for the greater good. This research constitutes a starting point to expand and facilitate a deeper understanding of the tensions facing families both internally and externally to design tools and interventions in the future.

This research utilises type 1 diabetes as a case study to examine both the practitioner and family perspectives living with this condition to understand the tensions and challenges experienced. These findings contribute to the development of an innovate family identity framework to support families considering the socio-ecological landscape. This framework can be used by families and practitioners to help strengthen family identity and increase family resilience.

As a starting point, social marketing interventions are suggested to reduce the burden of care to help vulnerable families live well and recommendations are offered to policy and advocacy groups on how they can support families as they face the challenges of living with chronic illness.

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer